Principal Archaeological Landscape: Porlock Allotment
Exmoor National Park Authority
01 January 2011
Date last amended
This is an area of moorland around the headwaters of Weir Water stretching northwards beyond Colley Water. Its eastern boundary is formed by the Exford to Porlock road, but it includes the Porlock stone row which lies on the eastern side of the road. A series of minor combes run into Weir Water and the spurs between these contain a large number of prehistoric monuments.
Description of Archaeology
The PAL includes a significant concentration of Exmoor’s early prehistoric settlement; perhaps amounting to as much as 20%. This takes the form of small groups of two (or sometimes three) hut circles and an enclosed settlement. There are also a number of low boundaries which probably represent associated fields. Additionally, there is a stone circle, stone row and several well preserved burial cairns within the PAL which has benefitted from recent intensive fieldwork through the DIG Porlock project (see Balmond and Wilson-North 2013). The PAL also contains World War Two military remains in the form of slit trenches and a firing range.
The area is significant because of the amount of prehistoric settlement it contains combined with the high quality of its preservation. The stone circle complex adds another aspect to this PAL, as it is one of only two stone circles within the National Park; limited excavation in 2013 has confirmed its archaeological significance and potential. The stone circle is one of only two monuments to have statutory protection in the form of scheduling within this PAL.